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Our Technical Theatre students got one step closer to their dream of winning the Royal Opera House Design Challenge – a hugely prestigious national competition for budding set and costume designers – when they exhibited their work at a special event in College on 7 February.

The talented students are hoping to repeat the success of two years ago, when a Lewisham Southwark College Tech Theatre student was awarded as winner.

The design competition is run by the Royal Opera House in partnership with Creative and Cultural Skills, and challenges each student to take on the role of either set designer or costume designer. This year, entrants had to decide on a director’s vision of the classic 19th century opera Madame Butterfly, developing ideas for the re-imagining of the opera in a time or location well known to us today. The work forms part of the Level 3 Technical Theatre Arts UAL Diploma course.

The students’ entries, which tutor Ian Shillito describes as “current and clever”, will now be judged internally and a shortlist (one applicant from each discipline) will be put forward for the next stage of judging at the Royal Opera House.

The overall winners in each category will get the chance to exhibit their work and attend a special day at the Royal Opera House, including a backstage tour and performance.



For our technical theatre, drama, dance and music students, the beginning of the year has seen some amazing opportunities – from working with renowned theatre companies to attending a university masterclass!

Our tech theatre students are busy working on the Royal Opera House’s prestigious annual Design Challenge – trying to repeat last year’s success when they won – as well as helping backstage with the English Touring Theatre on upcoming productions of ‘Silver Lining’ by Sandi Toksvig and ‘Nell Gwynne’. Somehow, they are also finding time to think about Higher Education opportunities: they’ll soon attend a masterclass by University of South Wales and are also due to go on a backstage tour at RADA in February.

Meanwhile our drama students are also benefiting from a host of great opportunities. Year 1 students are currently taking part in a 6-week series of acting workshops delivered by the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, as well as preparing for a site-specific production of Brecht. Year 2 students have two performances coming up, both of which will be staged at our exciting new Southwark campus. One of these productions will be in partnership with exchange students from Riga Cathedral School in Latvia as well as the College’s FD Music students.

It’s also a busy and exciting period for our dance students as they prepare for their final shows which will take place at the LW Theatre (for HNC students) and Peckham Theatre (for Level 3 students).

Head of Performing Arts, Jon Fell, says: “The way our students have seized these opportunities shows how proactive, hardworking and professional they are. What they’re learning through these hands-on activities will be invaluable as they progress on to work or further study.” 



Students across our campuses celebrated Martin Luther King day on Monday 16 January – and have been telling us on social media how his work continues to inspire them.

Martin Luther King fought for equality for African Americans and was a driving force in the American civil rights movement in the 1950s and 60s. He played a key role in peaceful protests such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the March on Washington, where he delivered his famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech calling for peace and equality.

A great speaker, he told people “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle,” and said that the goal of education was “intelligence plus character”.

Assassinated in 1968, Martin Luther King’s work led to black Americans finally getting rights such as the vote, and segregation in education and public places being abolished.

Martin Luther King’s legacy continues to inspire people around the world today including pop artists such as Beyoncé, who protested against racial discrimination in her half-time Super Bowl performance and through her ‘Formation’ release. Movements such as #BlackLivesMatter continue Martin Luther King’s work by campaigning against racism towards black people by police a]nd others.

The College’s students were asked to comment on Facebook and Twitter about what Martin Luther King’s work has meant to them, which generated a great response. 

Charlene Wight, said "It’s important to remember those who have and will work tirelessly to achieve the right to vote for everyone. People like Martin Luther King sacrificed quite a bit for people to move forward. I don’t just mean black people, but for the whole world to move forward.”

Tutor Mark Dakin said  "As an educator, I've done my best to send the same message to my students and colleagues. My generation has helped us make progress, but I challenge the next generation to ensure Dr. King's dream becomes a reality."

"Martin Luther King Jr. taught me that non-violence and peaceful protest can bring about change and justice" shared James Garrick. 

Between January and March, Lewisham Southwark College have over 100 courses starting – so you can start the New Year with something exciting to look forward to!

The courses are from a wide range of subjects – including art, fashion, construction, music, business, dance, and health and social care…just to name a few.

Our courses are under three main headers for you to explore:

English and Maths: If you want to improve your English or maths – these are the courses for you. We have some entry level courses, as well as ones that will prepare you before going to take GCSEs. We’ve also released new dates for more ESOL classes.

Work and Professional: If you want to either change jobs, or top up qualifications you’ve already got, have a look at the wide range of courses on offer. If you need any further help, we have free guidance officers who can help make sure you get the information you need.

Leisure, Hobby and Interests: Fancy learning a new skill for something you’re interested in? Then these are the courses for you! From life drawing to DJ skills – there’s a wide range to choose from.

Many of the courses are also fully funded – so you won’t pay anything! On application we will check your eligibility for funding.

Click here to look through the courses, and apply for one today!

The Lewisham Southwark College Marketing team have been shortlisted for the TES FE Awards ‘Marketing / communications campaign of the year’ 2017. This comes following success from the FE First Awards last month where the team won Gold award in the ‘marketing team of the year’ category, and a Silver in the ‘school leaver recruitment campaign’ category.

There’s strong competition on the shortlist, but the team are just happy to be listed beside some really impressive colleges.

Sonia Furley, Head of Marketing, says: “We’re so pleased to be shortlisted for this national award. It’s a lovely way to finish the year, where the team have worked hard alongside a wide range of staff in the College to deliver our objectives. It’s an honour that this work has been recognised by such a prestigious publication.” 

The awards ceremony takes place on 24 February 2017 at Grosvenor House, London. 




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